e arrived at the Riad fresh off the overnight train from Tangier, rather fraught and tired after an 11 hour journey. Immediately we were ushered to a beautiful and calm courtyard and given a pot of mint tea. Our welcome couldn't have been kinder. Morocco seems to run on mint tea, and there was certainly no shortage of it at the riad, on offer every time we got home from our adventures out in the city. which we discovered, at the end of our stay to be complementary.
Tourists in Marrakesh can often be in danger of being ripped off, especially by taxi drivers, and we were no exception! On discovering that we'd been badly treated on one journey in perricular, the owner of the riad offered the services of his brother as a ride the next day. It was certainly cheaper, less frought, and safer than the taxis. The car was also less than 30 years old too, which was a relief.
Our room was off the courtyard and was plenty large enough. The mattresses were very firm, but afforded a good night's sleep. The bathroom was huge.
Both rooms, as well as the courtyard were beautifully and traditionally decorated and very comfortable and relaxing. There was a large plasma screen tv in our room,but we never used it.
Since the windows of our room, as is usual in Morocco, opened into the courtyard, the room could have been rather airless, were it not for the efficient, and thankfully quiet, air conditioning.
The staff were attentive and thoughtful but unobtrusive, which is a wonderful respite from the hustle of the medina. Some of them had very little or no English, but with a little creative mime and schoolroom French, one could get by very well.
The Riad has a small Hammam, and an attendant/masseur to look after you, if you wish. A little pricier than your average public baths, perhaps, but far far cheaper than those offered in most tourist spas and hotels. A hammam can be a little daunting, if you are unused to being undressed in the company of strangers (though it is de rigeur to keep one's underwear/bikini on. Our intendant was female, but a male was available if required. The experience was delightful and soothing, not uncomfortable at all. One's skin certainly appreciates the care and attention, and is silky smooth at the end.
We had dinner in the Riad once, and although, after 3 days in Morocco, we felt tagined out, it was by far the best food we had during our time in Morocco. Beautifully home cooked, fresh, plentiful, carefully seasoned and presented.
Breakfasts, though the same each morning, were delicious, freshly prepared and filling
The rooms were beautifully and thoroughly cleaned every day.
I feel I must say a little about staying in any Riad. All the rooms have their doors and windows facing INTO the courtyard, which is also the main thoroughfare of the building. This, of course, shelters you from street noise (which is a blessing in a loud and bustling city like Marrakesh), but you will inevitably hear the other guests coming and going. Also, smoking is as ubiquitous in Morocco as tagine and mint tea.
All in all, the stay at Riad Lakhdar was one of the highlights of our stay in the country; mor like staying with friends than in a hotel. The staff were delightful, the building calming, attractive and very close to Djeba el Fna and all of the attractions of the City.
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